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HTC Unveils Miniature One Smartphone

HTC is betting that consumers will like a smaller version of its flagship HTC One smartphone.

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HTC today officially introduced the One Mini, a slightly smaller version of its One flagship smartphone. The One Mini carries over many of the class-leading features from the One, and wraps them up in a handset that's just as good-looking as the original.

One of the best aspects of the HTC One is the design. It is made from milled aluminum and held together by injection-molded polycarbonate. It's an engineering feat unequaled in today's smartphone market. The HTC One Mini isn't quite as impressive, but it has the same fundamentals. The aluminum shell looks almost identical to its bigger brother and it has the same premium feel.

How miniature is the Mini? Well, HTC had to shrink the screen a bit. The original One has a 4.7-inch LCD with 1920 by 1080 pixels, while the Mini has a 4.3-inch LCD with 1280 by 720 pixels. Some might be disappointed in the drop in resolution, but the smaller dimensions give the pixels a smaller area to fill. The Mini measures 5.2 by 2.49 by 0.36 inches and the One measures 5.41 by 2.69 by 0.37 inches. That means the Mini is about two-tenths of an inch shorter and narrower, though only one one-hundredth of an inch thinner. Weight is significantly down, at 4.3 ounces compared to 5.04 ounces.

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Aside from the design, the One's premier UltraPixel camera is a direct carryover in the Mini. It has the same backside illumination and low-light powers, as well as the Zoes image/video mashup feature that's part of the One. The Mini also uses the same Sense 5.0 user interface, along with its BlinkFeed social news app. Like the original, the Mini has 16 GB of built-in storage, but no expandable memory. Last, it comes with the awesome BoomSound stereo speakers and Beats Audio for the best sound possible.

Connectivity options include the standard set for a modern smartphone with one exception. It boasts 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS/GLONASS, and HSPA+/LTE support for worldwide 4G networks, but it lacks NFC.

The rest of the One Mini's story is about trade-offs. HTC stepped the processor down from the One's 1.7-GHz quad-core Snapdragon 600 chip to a 1.4-GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 chip. RAM has been halved from 2 GB to 1 GB. The battery, sealed and unremovable, is about 10% smaller at 1800mAh.

HTC said the One Mini will hit shelves across Europe later this quarter. Pricing has not yet been announced. No U.S. carriers have said that they'll carry the One Mini, but one will likely pick up the Mini before September or October rolls around.

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